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William Seward Burroughs . Profile of Historical Figure In Technology By: Sheryl Myrieckes Dr. Craig Cunningham NLU – TIE 532. William Seward Burroughs - Inventor. Biography. Born January 28, 1855 in Auburn, New York Died September 14, 1898 in Citronelle, Alabama

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William Seward Burroughs

Profile of Historical Figure

In Technology

By: Sheryl Myrieckes

Dr. Craig Cunningham

NLU – TIE 532

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William Seward Burroughs - Inventor


Born January 28, 1855 in

Auburn, New York

Died September 14, 1898 in

Citronelle, Alabama

Buried Bellefontaine Cemetery in

St. Louis, Missouri

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William Seward Burroughs

American Inventor of the

Calculator Machine

The beginning of office automation

Patent - First Calculating Machine in 1885-1888

Patent – Practical Commercial Model in 1892

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William Seward Burroughs

American Inventor of the

Adding Machine

Burroughs founded the American Arithmometer Company in 1886

In 1905, changed to the Burroughs Adding Machine Company

In honor of his death, it became the Burroughs Corporation in1953

1986 Merged with Sperry to form UNISYS

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William Seward Burroughs

Burroughs had the biggest adding machine company in the U.S. with variation in products such as adding machines, typewriters, check protectors, electronic billing machines, ticketeers, and finally computers.

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William Seward Burroughs

Major Accomplishments

Invention of the Adding Machines, Cash Registers, Printers, Disk-Drives and Tape-Drives

Large system, medium system , and small system ‘main frame ‘ class computers

Developed : Language Directed Design or Programming Languages such as


‘Small system ‘ computers were micro-programmed.

Micro-processing led to the use of LAN

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William Seward Burroughs


Franklin Institute’s John Scott Medal

National Inventors Hall of Fame

One of eight major U.S. computer companies:

IBM, Burroughs, Honeywell, NCR, RCA, UNIVAC, General Electric, Control Data Corporation, etc

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William Seward Burroughs

During WWII they steered towards computers working with the government on numerous contracts.

Mostly making large, medium, and small frame computers used by banks and businesses.

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William Seward Burroughs


Adding Machines

Calculating Machines

Cash Registers

Main Frame Computers

Language Programs




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William Seward Burroughs

Burroughs B205 hardware has appeared as props in many Hollywood TV and movie productions from the 1960s onwards. For example a B205 console was often shown in the TV series Batman as the Bat Computer; also as the computer in Lost in Space. B205 tape drives were often seen in shows such as The Time Tunnel and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

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William Seward Burroughs


What does he feel is his greatest accomplishment , and what is it that he feels is his worst?

What would he do differently, if he could do it all over again?

Does he have any regrets?

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William Seward Burroughs

He worked as a bank clerk at the

Cayuga County National Bank in Auburn, New York.

Determined to add new machine into the ‘modern day’ office at the end of the century.

Died at 43 years old due to illness.

His machines began the revolution

of technology.

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William Seward Burroughs


  • Inventor - An inventor is a person who creates or discovers a new method, form, device or other useful means.

  • Patent - A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to an inventor or his assignee for a fixed period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention.

  • A Comptometer is a type of mechanical (or electro-mechanical) adding machine. The comptometer was the first adding device to be driven solely by the action of pressing keys, which are arranged in an array of vertical and horizontal columns.

  • Adding Machine _ An adding machine is a type of calculator, usually specialized for bookkeeping calculations

  • Calculator - A calculator is a device for performing mathematical calculations, distinguished from a computer by having a limited problem solving ability and an interface optimized for interactive calculation rather than programming. Calculators can be hardware or software, and mechanical or electronic, and are often built into devices such as PDAs or mobile phones.

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William Seward Burroughs

  • Bookeeping - Bookkeeping (book-keeping or book keeping) is the recording of the value of assets, liabilities, income, and expenses in the daybooks, journals, and ledgers, which debit and credit entries are chronologically posted to record changes in value.

  • A computer is a machine that manipulates data according to a list of instructions. The first devices that resemble modern computers date to the mid-20th century (1940–1945), although the computer concept and various machines similar to computers existed earlier. Early electronic computers were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers (PC).[1] Modern computers are based on tiny integrated circuits and are millions to billions of times more capable while occupying a fraction of the space.[2] Today, simple computers may be made small enough to fit into a wristwatch and be powered from a watch battery.

  • Programs - Computer programs (also software programs, or just programs) are instructions for a computer.[1] A computer requires programs to function. Moreover, a computer program does not run unless its instructions are executed by a central processor;[2] however, a program may communicate an algorithm to people without running. Computer programs are usually executable programs or the source code from which executable programs are derived (e.g., compiled).

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William Seward Burroughs

  • Fortran (previously FORTRAN[1]) is a general-purpose,[2]procedural,[3]imperativeprogramming language that is especially suited to numeric computation and scientific computing. Originally developed by IBM in the 1950s for scientific and engineering applications, Fortran came to dominate this area of programming early on and has been in continual use for over half a century in computationally intensive areas such as numerical weather prediction, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), computational physics, and computational chemistry. It is one of the most popular languages in the area of High-performance computing and programs to benchmark and rank the world's fastest supercomputers are written in Fortran[4].

  • A local area network (LAN) is a computer network covering a small physical area, like a home, office, or small group of buildings, such as a school, or an airport. The defining characteristics of LANs, in contrast to wide-area networks (WANs), include their usually higher data-transfer rates, smaller geographic range, and lack of a need for leased telecommunication lines.

  • Wide Area Network (WAN) is a computer network that covers a broad area (i.e., any network whose communications links cross metropolitan, regional, or national boundaries [1]). Contrast with personal area networks (PANs), local area networks (LANs), campus area networks (CANs), or metropolitan area networks (MANs) which are usually limited to a room, building, campus or specific metropolitan area (e.g., a city) respectively. The largest and most well-known example of a WAN is the Internet.

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William Seward Burroughs

  • In mathematics, computing, linguistics and related subjects, an algorithm is a sequence of finite instructions, often used for calculation and data processing. It is formally a type of effective method in which a list of well-defined instructions for completing a task will, when given an initial state, proceed through a well-defined series of successive states, eventually terminating in an end-state. The transition from one state to the next is not necessarily deterministic; some algorithms, known as probabilistic algorithms, incorporate randoness.

  • ALGOL (short for ALGOrithmic Language)[1] is a family of imperativecomputerprogramming languages originally developed in the mid 1950s which greatly influenced many other languages and became the de facto way algorithms were described in textbooks and academic works for almost the next 30 years[2]. It was designed to avoid some of the perceived problems with FORTRAN and eventually gave rise to many other programming languages (including BCPL, B and C). ALGOL introduced code blocks and was the first language to use beginend pairs for delimiting them. Fragments of ALGOL-like syntax are sometimes still used as a notation for algorithms, so-called Pidgin Algol.

  • COBOL (pronounced /ˈkoʊbɒl/) is one of the oldest programming languages still in active use. Its name is an acronym for COmmon Business-Oriented Language, defining its primary domain in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments.

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William Seward Burroughs

  • In the field of telecommunications, a communications protocol is the set of standard rules for data representation, signaling, authentication and error detection required to send information over a communications channel. Communication protocols for digital computer network communication have features intended to ensure reliable interchange of data over an imperfect communication channel. Communication protocol is basically following certain rules so that the system works properly

  • In electronics, an integrated circuit (also known as IC, microcircuit, microchip, silicon chip, or chip) is a miniaturized electronic circuit (consisting mainly of semiconductor devices, as well as passive components) that has been manufactured in the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor material. Integrated circuits are used in almost all electronic equipment in use today and have revolutionized the world of electronics.

  • Microchips (EPROM memory) with a transparent window, showing the integrated circuit inside. Note the fine silver-colored wires that connect the integrated circuit to the pins of the package. The window allows the memory contents of the chip to be erased, by exposure to strong ultraviolet light in an eraser device.

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William Seward Burroughs


  • William Seward Burroughs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaAug 6, 2008 ...William Seward Burroughs I (1857–1898), inventor of adding machine; n.wikipedia.org/wiki/

  • History of Calculators - William Seward BurroughsWilliam Seward Burroughs invented the first practical calculator - the history of calculators.inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blcalculator.htm - 24k -

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  • William Seward Burroughs -- Britannica Online EncyclopediaBritannica online encyclopedia article on William Seward Burroughs:American inventor of the first recording adding machine and pioneer of its manufacture.www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/85807/

  • Invent Now | Hall of Fame | Search | Inventor ProfileWilliam Seward Burroughs invented the first practical adding and listing machine . Burroughs submitted a patent application in 1885 for his 'Calculating ...www.invent.org/Hall_Of_Fame/1_1_6_detail.asp?vInventorID=